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Place, public health reform and the case for the early adopter


© The Health FoundationAs Scotland embraces the aspirations of public health reform, the Improvement Service (IS) is working on a Place and Health Early Adopter programme looking at how to integrate spatial planning into public health policy.


The Early Adopter will be progressed by a Place and Health Working Group. They will examine existing evidence on how places enable public health and make recommendations on how to turn it into mainstream policy and action across Scotland. The core of the Place and Health Working Group tasks are to:


  • define a set of national principles for place and health with national implementation support from Public Health Scotland and in the forthcoming National Planning Framework review
  • assess the feasibility of Public Health Scotland becoming the consultation authority on public health matters to support turning evidence into practice on delivering healthy places. This includes looking at the opportunity to influence the health impact of national and local planning policy and ‘major applications’.
  • identify the needs of public sector organisations, in particular local public health, health improvement and spatial planners, to support a ‘health in all policies’ approach across Scotland. This will encourage joint working across services including transport, housing, economic development, regeneration and greenspace.


The IS Planning for Place Programme initiated conversations with practitioners from both planning and public health to identify how place can play a bigger part in the delivery of public health priorities. An article in The Scottish Planner sets out the context and more information about the recommendations that the Place and Health Working Group will now be implementing.


For further details, or to contribute your expertise and learning into this work, please contact Irene Beautyman, Place Programme Manager at the Improvement Service.


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